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Anyone ever fished Lake Marion (Santee Cooper)?

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by kyost, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. I'm planning a trip to Lake Marion in South Carolina this September. I'll be taking a guide out for at least one day, but I've considered pulling my 17' bass boat down and trying to find them (cats) myself. From the DVD's I've watched, it looks like the lake (during fair weather) would be manageable in a 17' boat, but I'm sure most fishing is done from pontoons. Or, with the price of gas (towing the boat and the gas I'd use on the lake), you think I'd be better off to hire guides for the time I'd be there?

    Anyone ever been there and if so, how was your experience?
  2. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    Yes, I was there with Jigger the first week of Jan in 2002. We actually did pull my boat down. After watching the guide return to the cleaning station, I'd have to say hire them instead. We did okay, but not like the guide did. His name was Don Lane(803-478-4924) We didn't use a guide, but I made sure to get his card. We stayed at Randolph's Landing
    I think the best time is actually during Christmas week. The shad migrate up towards the dam and they catch bluecats by the boatload.

  3. Predator225

    Predator225 Predator225

    I have had the pleasure to fish santee-cooper three times. Twice in 99 then once in'02. As far as the guides go, we hired one for the first two days we were there in 99. Let me tell ya, i didnt learn anything different the second day that i didnt already learn the first. So hiring one for your first day is not a bad idea. I actually caught more fish at night fishing from the marina dock with cut herring and shad than we caught our second day out with the guide. For the money youd spend on a guide, you may as well just take your own boat. The price of the guide we hired was $240 a day (that was in 99) In a 17 footer, you should be just fine, BUT, lake marion is a lunatic-pleasure boaters heaven. jetskis, skidos and all the other whatknots are out on it during the day; the skizone is a limited area, and they dont always stay in it either. Night fishing on marion was AWESOME. We caught giant 'gills (they call them brim down there) and basically set up on drop-offs or ledges and caught some really nice flatheads; while we drifted for blues during the day. I absolutely love that area down there, if anything ever happens here in Cleveland that would allow me to make a move like that, that is where i will go. Any other questions, feel free to PM me. Hope it helps.

  4. catking

    catking Banned

    I've fished this area a few times and love it. You do have to be careful as these lakes ( Marion & Moultrie) can get VERY rough when a storm brews. I mean REALLY rough. Worst than Erie. But that is usually in the spring so you will be fine. Anyways, Moultrie is the best by far for bluecats. If you follow the canal out into the lake and follow the channel markers until they end, this is an excellent area to get a trophy bluecat. As far as Marion goes, go to Nates like mrfishohio suggested ( Randolphs Landing) . It is located on the dam of Marion and has the only ramp by the dam . The shouvel heads are in that area in September as well as the giant bluecats .... Also in back of the dam there is a body of water that runs parallel with the dam and it has it's own boat ramp. Large cats are in there and this leads to the Santee River , some of the best flathead cattin in the states. The body of water is called the " borrow pit" Just ask Nate about it ;) ... Good Luck ... THE CATKING !!!
  5. I appreciate all of the information. I've looked into Randolphs Landing as well as Black's Camp on Moultrie. Looks like all guides charge between $200-$300, so the more I think about it, taking the boat probably would be cheaper, but safety is my main concern.

    What did everyone do for baitfish? I haven't looked into SC regs, so I'm not sure what's legal yet?

    I did notice the borrow pit behind the Santee Dam, and it was mentioned on one of my maps as a cat hotspot, but I didn't know it emptied into the Santee River. Anyone ever fished the diversion canal?
  6. Predator225

    Predator225 Predator225

    For bait we had a castnet, when we couldnt locate bait we could buy frozen herring at the marina where we stayed. I would imagine other bait shops would have it as well. For flatheads we caught bluegills on crickets, the gills down there are just immense.

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